Chelsea continue their FA Cup defence against a rejuvenated Manchester United in this weekend’s stand-out tie. After United beat Arsenal in the last round they once again face one of the tournament favourites, whereas Chelsea have had a more comfortable passage into the fifth round.
Chelsea’s FA Cup Defence Continues Against Manchester United
How it’s Shaping Up
Chelsea have been on a very up and down run of form in the league. They have four league defeats in eleven and are coming into this match having lost 6-0 away to Manchester City last weekend. Although they did claim an important 2-1 away victory over Malmo in the Europa League during the week, Maurizio Sarri’s job is very much still in the spotlight.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, however, has hardly put a foot wrong. He has won all but one of his matches in charge at United. However, their humbling 2-0 defeat at home to Paris Saint-Germain has somewhat seen the honeymoon period slam to an abrupt end.
This game is huge for Chelsea, who go into it with an increasingly hard run of fixtures. Firstly, they have the second leg of their Europa League Round of 32 tie to be played on Thursday and then the Carabao Cup final next Sunday against Manchester City. They also host Tottenham Hotspur’s trip to Stamford Bridge before the month is out. Chelsea must react, starting with Monday night.
Manchester United themselves will be determined to bounce back well and show some fight. Under Solskjaer, they haven’t needed, as of yet, to show masses of character. However, this game will be important for the interim boss to learn the attitudes of his players.
Chelsea have no new team news going into the match. However, Ruben Loftus-Cheek is unlikely to be massively risked as he gets over his ongoing back injury. Also, it might be expected that Marcos Alonso does not start. He missed Thursday’s trip to Sweden due to being ‘rested’ by Sarri. The strength of the squad he took to Sweden would suggest otherwise, though. This and the recent speculation around their relationship would suggest he is currently out of favour.
Manchester United will have a weaker team than perhaps they were intending to play. With Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial both out due to first-half injuries against PSG, it is probable that Alexis Sanchez and Romelu Lukaku will both start.